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Center for Medical Countermeasures against Radiation (CMCR)

UCLA Center for Biological Radiation Mitigators

The possibility of a radiation disaster from a nuclear detonation or accident has existed for over 60 years. The more recent and more imminent threat from a radiation dispersal device operated by terrorists has led to a reassessment of the state of radiobiology research and of our preparedness for handling the effects of radiation exposure on the general population and upon emergency workers who have to deal with such an event.

Despite the long history of studying the effects of radiation on normal tissues in vitro and in vivo, there is a dearth of agents immediately available for mitigating radiation injury. The UCLA-CMCR developed an infrastructure that allows discovery and evaluation of such agents. Most of this effort relied on an unbiased approach to drug discovery that employs high throughput screening (HTS) of libraries of chemically defined and bioactive small molecule compounds using yeast, murine, and human systems and multiple endpoints. These studies have validated our original concept that molecular and chemical "signatures" can be used to classify modulators of radiation responses, and that these can then be exploited for rational development of effective mitigating agents. We have knowledge of mechanisms for several compounds, but several classes still need to be fully evaluated for mitigating activity.

The UCLA-CMCR has a lean structure but a broad focus. It has harnessed multiple strengths at UCLA with benefit to the CMCR program and has built a rich environment for research, training, and product development in the radiation sciences. All information is stored on an industrial-strength database so that all CMCRs can have access for analysis and data mining. We interact with other members of the CMCR network and with groups and individuals in academic and commercial entities to test and compare mitigators.

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Contact

Joann Jue
UCLA Radiation Oncology Department

BOX 956951, 200 Medical Plaza, Ste B265
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1714 USA

Phone: (310) 825-9771
Fax: (310) 794-1984

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